Detroit's Foreclosure Disaster
Date Written: 2015-07-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21223
In early 2015 the Wayne County Treasurer's office announced that 62,000 Detroit properties were slated for foreclosure, with probably 38,000 occupied. This could result in the displacement of as many as 100,000 Detroiters, or about one seventh of the city's population.
While Detroit endures the highest poverty rate of any major U.S. city, where schools have been closed and services cut to the bone, developers have been given land and generous tax breaks for their projects. These include turning 8.3 acres of land over to Dan Gilbert, head of Quicken Loans, to develop the Brush Park area just above central downtown. It is also a short walk from where Mike Ilitch, with $485 million in state funds, is constructing a Hockeytown entertainment district.
One might also note that Detroit paid $178 million for lawyers and consultants to take the city through bankruptcy, a price that Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes okayed.
For city residents, on the other hand, a second foreclosure hurricane has been brewing - tax foreclosures. Homeowners are slapped with high property taxes, and 18% interest if they do not pay up. Yet property valuations, mandated by the state to be recalculated yearly, remain grossly over-assessed.